You know you’ve had too much to eat for Christmas dinner when you slump down onto a beanbag and realise… there is no beanbag. David Letterman
It’s Christmas time, mistletoe and wine and mince pies and turkey…… If your Christmas dinner turns into an eating challenge tomorrow, then here is a little piece of information that will help you reign it in and save you from looking like Father Christmas.
In researching this I was genuinely shocked by what I found. So shocked that I asked people all last week what they thought. Every person was wrong and shocked when the answer was revealed. So, what was the question?
How many calories are consumed by the average adult as part of Christmas dinner?
Before I answer, keep in mind that the average DAILY allowance for an adult female is around 2000 calories and male it’s 2500. These figures are variable but as an average figure it gives us a benchmark. Most people guessed between 2000 and 3000.
I guessed 3000. The answer…… 5200 calories! Most people will consume more than twice the male, daily calorie intake, in ONE meal. How does this happen? Easier than you think.
Some common inclusions in a Christmas dinner
Starter – 400 Cals
4 slices of turkey – 404 cals
4 slices of beef – 852 Cals
4 roast potatoes cooked in goose fat – 800 Cals
Portion of mashed potato – 150 Cals
5 pigs in blankets -250 Cals
3 stuffing balls – 375 Cals
Portion of bread sauce – 130 Cals
Portion of apple/cranberry sauce – 100 calories
Portion of sprouts – 100 Cals
Portion of carrots – 80 Cals
2 servings of gravy – 160 Cals
1 portion of Christmas pudding, custard & brandy sauce – 587 Cals
1 portion of cheese and crackers – 400 Cals
2 mince pies – 364 Cals
2 glasses of red wine – 320 Cals
2 glasses of white wine – 240 Cals
2 glasses of champagne – 226 Cals
Glass of mulled wine – 245 Cals
Bottle of beer – 142 Cals
Glass of port – 154 Cals
Can of Coca-Cola - 139
I appreciate not everyone will eat that much and I also think to my own Christmas dinners and probably eat more than that! Let’s also not forget the forgotten drink calories – who only sticks to 2 glasses of wine or 1 beer? Once you’ve taken time t think about your own Christmas dinner and realised that 5000 calories aren’t far short for most people – how are we going to burn this off?
Exercise to burn off Christmas dinner (starter, main and dessert)
Run 2 marathons at average of 2.600 calories burnt per marathon
Cycle 109 miles at 48 calories per mile
Swim front crawl for 11 hours at average of 500 calories burnt per hour
Skipping for 12 hours
Climbing stairs for 8 hours
Don’t panic if that all seems a little crazy. If you were to do 16 minutes of circuit training a day, every day, for the whole of January, by January 31st, 2018, you will have burnt 5000 calories! My PDF called Christmas SOS is available to download for free on the website and gives you a list of exercises you can do at home with no equipment as well as a list of exercises with a few bits of equipment or household items! There is also a weekly workout builder to plan your workouts each week.
Merry Christmas to you all – have a wonderful day wherever you are.
(Rob is a sports performance specialist with over 16 years experience in the fitness industry. Focus 4 Fitness offer expert sports therapy & sports massage, personal training, sports coaching, classes and courses in Norwich).